Darjeeling tea is a type of black tea produced in India. Darjeeling tea has a fruity aroma and a golden or bronze color, depending on the way it’s brewed.
Tea experts say it has notes (flavors) of citrus fruit, flowers, and even a vegetal quality. Darjeeling tastes sweeter and less bitter than other forms of black tea.
It’s often called “the champagne of teas.” Like champagne, a sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France, in order to be called such, Darjeeling tea must be grown and produced in the Darjeeling district, a geographically protected region in West Bengal, India.
The leaves in Darjeeling tea contain polyphenols or plant compounds that fight inflammation and chronic (long-term) disease. Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. Black tea is a healthy alternative to coffee and sugar-laden energy drinks.
Tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, second only to water. According to experts, benefits of drinking tea, however small, could have a big impact on global public health. There’s evidence drinking black tea can:
Boost Heart Health
Recent studies have shown that flavonoids or phytonutrient-rich plant pigments found in tea can lower cholesterol levels. High cholesterol leads to high blood pressure, heart attacks, or stroke, so drinking tea can help you reduce your risk of developing those diseases.
Two important polyphenols found in Darjeeling tea—theaflavins and thearubigins—are considered powerful antioxidants. These compounds protect against free radicals (harmful molecules) that damage cell DNA and cause cells to mutate.
Tea polyphenols have also shown promise in shrinking cancerous tumors and protecting against damage from ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects how your body uses insulin, a hormone that regulates the amount of sugar in your blood. People with type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar because their bodies don’t make enough insulin.
In a recent study, black tea extract appeared to lower blood sugar levels, allowing people with diabetes to metabolize (process) insulin more efficiently.
Improve Gut Health
The polyphenols in Darjeeling tea stimulate good bacteria growth in your digestive system. Higher levels of bad bacteria may contribute to obesity, while good bacteria helps you lose weight.
Compounds in black tea may help slow bacterial growth, preventing dental cavities and plaque. Drinking tea can also help balance your mouth microbiome and eliminate hydrogen sulfide, which causes bad breath. Tea leaves contain fluoride, which strengthens the enamel on your teeth.
Darjeeling tea contains less caffeine than coffee but may still cause anxiety and jitters in some people. Doctors suggest drinking only one or two cups a day to avoid side effects from too much caffeine.
One to two teaspoons of loose tea or one tea bag, combined with 8 ounces, or one cup, of hot water, contains:
The calorie count for a cup of Darjeeling tea is zero unless you add honey, sugar, nut milk, or dairy creamer. Check the labels on these products before you pour to determine the additional calories.
It’s important to note that Darjeeling tea contains caffeine. The caffeine content may vary depending on the brand of Darjeeling that you select. Too much caffeine can lead to jitters, restlessness, anxiousness, nausea, and prevent you from getting a full night sleep.
How to Prepare Darjeeling Tea
Brewing a cup of Darjeeling tea is quick and easy. Here’s how:
- Boil water and pour 8 to 12 ounces of boiled water into a mug.
- Add tea bag.
- If making the loose-leaf version, add one or two teaspoons to a tea strainer, place it in your cup, and pour hot water on top.
- Steep (rest the bag in the water) for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how strong you like your tea.
- Add sugar, honey, nut milk, or cream if desired.
Once you’ve finished brewing, sit down, relax, take a sip, and enjoy!